Tomas Hertl wanted to leave San Jose, but now wants to play the role of a big brother

Published September 19, 2021 at 6:42 PM

Having amassed 43 points in 50 games last season, forward Tomas Hertl is an important player for the San Jose Sharks. However, the man who will reach the end of his contract next year has not yet begun contract negotiations with his team.

Nevertheless, Hertl will come to training camp without worrying too much about his contractual situation. His goal is to be a mentor to the young players.

"I'm not thinking about next season, whether the Sharks will offer me a new contract or if they don't want me here anymore. I'm just going to try to play my best hockey and help my teammates. We have a lot of young players, and I want to help them and show them how to act like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski did with me. Show them how to be a leader, how to play in the NHL."

Hertl knows, however, that the upcoming season will be key to signing his next contract. However, the Prague native has already shown that he can be an impact player, especially in the 2018-2019 season when he collected 74 points.

"We'll see if there are going to be talks when training camp starts. If not, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm here to play my best hockey and not think about my contract, because otherwise you start thinking too much about it being your last year of your contract and you have to score goals because it's going to help," he said.

A former 17th overall pick in 2012, Hertl has notably been linked to the Montreal Canadiens in recent weeks. By the way, the price to get his services would be a first round pick, a good prospect as well as an NHL player.

Injured more often than not last season, Hertl hopes to contribute to his team's success this year. He suffered a knee injury last year that forced him to miss half of the season.

"I hope I can help them and I hope I can stay healthy."

The Sharks, meanwhile, have struggled over the past few years. San Jose has failed to qualify for the playoffs the past two seasons.

With the return of traditional divisions in the NHL, the Sharks may have a chance to make the playoffs while playing in the Pacific Division, considered the weakest division in the NHL. Will Hertl help his team succeed? He seems determined to do so.

Latest 10 stories